Category Archives: General Business
Nat here – website designer and business mentor. I just wanted to send a quick message out to say hang in there, I know tough times are present and ahead and that this whole coronavirus / scaremongering that’s happening globally is rocking everyone to their core – me included at times, but it’s going to be ok, we’ve overcome so much more than this and in time we will look back on this and be able to breath easy knowing it’ll be something else for the history books that we’ve triumphed over…
Personally for me, I’d been battling the idea – not from lack of ability the cope but that I struggle with not being able to help everyone. That this whole ordeal is causing so much stress, fear and anxiety and that I don’t want any of my clients, friends family and the world as a collective to experiencing this struggle. I want to be able to help people and it’s now more than ever that that desire in me is strong. However I too have been overwhelmed by what’s taking on the over sensationalising of the media and every breaking update.
I want to help as many clients as I can, this idea that my skillset and knowledge and desire to support and empower is so strong within me. I don’t want you to struggle through this unnecessarily.
I’ve already this year decided / implemented for those who join up to receive my free mailing list will get a portion off their first invoice, however as a means of making sure I can support as many people as possible and to make my processes more affordable, I’m offering payment plans options as a means of helping clients. Whether that be a new website development or help with their existing website. I’m genuinely here to help and in times like these we need to stick together from the comforts of our own homes (lol sorry probably not the best joke…. if we don’t laugh we’ll cry right..)
If I can be of any assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact my page or request a quote via my website.
Hey there everyone!
Nat here, it’s all been a bit of a blur the last few days heading into February .. 33 days into 2020… Wow! Wow! Wow! Can you believe it, that’s the first month of 2020 done an dusted?
School is officially back after 6 weeks School Holidays. Believe it or not, it’s actually been quite bitter sweet in that I have been itching to get back into regular routine and reclaim that structure in my day, however on the same double edge sword, my darling daughter starts her next obstacle in 9 months as her primary school transitions them for High School in Term 4.
To think I started this business 1 month before she was born. We’ve stood the test of time and both my “babies” are upleveling.
January Recap & Celebration:
Well January started off on a high, we’ve been busily pumping out project work for clients and doing website maintenance. Even though we set off on holidays mid month, two weeks into January we were already well on our way to hit our January targets.
I actually had some big goals in place, some of those included things like:
- Maintain my commitment to honour myself by not discounting my services – after recording massive losses and burnout over the past 12 months. I outlined a lot of this in my blog post: Reviewing my last 10 years in business.This one was super important for me.
- Save the needed cash to complete two major business courses – I had these two courses on my vision board for 2-3 years. These two courses I believe will further my knowledge to be able to help my clients more and also support me to next level my business. I am so excited to finally have saved enough money to be able to complete them. I register for BSCHOOL by Marie Forleo & MONEY BOOTCAMP by Denise Duffield-Thomas in mid February and I CANNOT wait!!
- Hit more than 100 paid hours a month consistently – due to the discounting my services my books never show that I’ve done 100+ hours.. although I often work A LOT more than that. I’ve put plans in place to help me meet this goal on a regular basis and I am so proud of myself for sticking to my guns.
- Be Present with my audience – Create solid presence online by maintaining my social media platforms and connecting with you guys.
- Monthly Newsletters – Maintain commitment to regularly communication via monthly newsletter. (So far so good!) and grow that following. We’ve had growth!! 🙂
- Hit & maintain #1 organic ranking for longtail keywords:
- Web Design Cessnock (Up 1)
- Web Design Hunter Valley ( Maintained)
- Prioritise my own personal health and make conscious effort to take care of me – given the fact that I’m the glue that holds my world together, my family and my clients all rely on me. I want to be the best ME I can be and ensure I’m setting a great example for my daughter.
- Support my clients as thoroughly as I can and always over deliver – and with the recent WordPress Hacking and Malware attacks this one of the big ones that I have well and truly exceeded expectations.
January have been a rather colourful process – I’ve shared a little on the “Colouring” at the foot of this email… however it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows….
Moving Forward into FANTASTIC FEBRUARY!
Well February has plenty to offer, Did you notice today’s date? 02/02/2020 – you can look at it in reverse and it’s still the same thing.. not only that but given that it’s a leap year, February is also offering another day up for grabs to make your goals and dreams come true.. What will you do with it?
What’s on the agenda for February:
Track Your Progress!!!
So with the Awesome Marketing Planner you have an abundance of means of tracking things and it makes things so much easier. HOWEVER if you’re like me and are working on massive goals and keeping all of your info in a book is practical but you still want the visuals in front of you then why not get creative an put together a tracker of your own…
NOTE TO SELF – YOU DON’T NEED TO BE PERFECT…
I’m into all the woo woo stuff about being grounded and meditations, crystals and oracles cards etc…. so for me it was given to draw a tree like figure and track my financial savings.
The other chart shows my billed hours for the month. I’d aimed for 100 paid hours a month. Each time I billed an hour I’d colour in another square…. Whilst I did more than 114 hours in January (this was photo I took in passing when talking to colleges about my progress.) I wanted to share as it doesn’t matter how to track, whether you just want a spreadsheet or you want vibrancy and colour over your walls, you don’t have to draw anything like what I did.. but you can if that’s what works for you.
Tracking your progress gives you so much valuable information and shows you where you are on course and off course.
There are so many things you could track –
With this information you can then adjust your strategies or implement strategies to improve your results.
|Anyways lovelies! Let’s wrap this us!
So my questions for you :
I would love to hear from you, you can reply directly to this newsletter and your messages will come straight through my inbox or send me a message via my Facebook page or website.
Have an amazing day and if I don’t speak to you beforehand enjoy and make the most of FANTASTIC FEBRUARY!!
3650 days of life and business lessons!
Wow! Wow! Wow! As we come to the closure of a decade and 2020 rolls on in. It’s amazing to take a look back at where we’ve come from and where we’re going in business. 3650 days?! What did we do with them all?
The last 10 years have altered and changed my course tremendously. I’ve seen highs and lows in my personal life and business however the continual indicators show I’m onto a good thing here.
Business is growing, I’m busier than I’ve ever been. I’ve established myself and my brand as a strong local contender in various communities both online and offline and most importantly I’m enjoying the process and as I always intended… I’m HELPING people. Win Win!
Adapting to change – Same Great Services
Whilst technology has definitely changed and we’re more mobile or responsive device focused, the decade of instant gratification, social media and being able to find pretty much anything from the palm of your hand in a matter of seconds, has meant as a business owner we’ve needed to be adaptive and responsive to our clients needs.
- Building new websites,
- Improving existing websites,
- Specialising in WordPress Websites,
- Offering Website Help, Technical Support and Training,
- Providing Website Management and monthly update packages,
- Helping you get found through Search Engine Optimisation,
- Engagement Marketing,
- Provision of Hosting and domains,
- Social Media setup and management
- & so more.
Events that have shaped Natalie Crowe Designs
10 years is such a massive timeframe, and with the diversity of events that have occurred; some of them big, some of them small, all of them have contributed to the person I am and who I’ve become and how my business has evolved.
- From deciding I wanted to help people with their websites and shaping that into a tangible business idea as a means of supporting myself, then that need and desire growing with the birth of my daughter.
- Having to re-establish my life in the Hunter Valley, after an 8 year relation dissolving and continuing to make a living, working through Family Courts / Custody Battle that set me back $25k+ in legal fees all whilst simultaneously keeping our heads above water. My business supported us.
- Through moving 7 times before eventually generating & saving enough money through my business and finding a bank that would accept me as a self employed business owner, and validate that my business was more than a hobby in order to purchase our own home in the Hunter Valley.
- To, continuing my studies getting additional qualifications and improving myself and expanding my services from not only WEB DESIGN but to BUSINESS MENTORING evolving my business into a one stop shop.
- To supporting hundreds of local businesses over the years and through the growth and trajectory of my business being able to contribute to countless causes in our local community, donating thousands of dollars to help people get back on their feet, and utilise my experience to better themselves.
- To finding the love of my life, having same sex marriage laws passed and to being able to get married which for the most part was funded by my ability to generate an income and paid outright which meant we didn’t have to go into debt to be able to bring our family together to celebrate our union. Something I was so ecstatic about in 2018.
I am so grateful and proud of each and every moment and what I’ve overcome to create a life that I love and a business that supports me and my goals. Acknowledging, not all of these things are solely business related but they were possible due to my business or have have contributed as pieces of the puzzle that’s formed the Natalie Crowe Designs of today.
2020 – A year of continuing to offer enormous value & honouring my self worth
In 2020, I’ll be working closely on my message, whilst wanting to help people hasn’t changed, I have spent a great deal of time analysing my business and one thing is clear, I always go above and beyond. My clients are the most important part of my business but at times I’ve found myself over extending, over delivering and ultimately to my own detriment burning out.
$30,000 in uncollected payments, donations, volunteer work and unpaid accounts.
‘There’s always more’ mentality and my generosity can often get the better of me. It’s been a few years now, but prior to our hourly price increase of $80/hr the tally of discounts alone given to the community in one 12 month span equated to close to $30,000!!
At the time I couldn’t even fathom that I’d discounted developments or not collected payments, volunteered a multitude of hours through that year / completed unpaid work, however it was clear, come the end of the year how burnt out and exhausted I was, how disappointed I felt not attaining the goals I’d set and how much that $30,000 would have made a difference in my life at the time if I’d only honoured my selfworth and trusted that my effort and contributions to all of these amazing causes was worth receiving payment.
Your time is worth the money & you are worthy of payment:
My aim for 2020 will be to shape my business in a way that still delivers enormous value for my beautiful clients, however values my worth, my time, my contributions and supports and nurtures healthy boundaries.
This year, will be the year that will enable me to set and reach my goals and still allows me to honour myself, avoid massive burnout that I’ve experience in the past and also enable be me carve out time to create new products and services, study further, connect with all of you and improve what I can offer you as a part of my web design and business mentoring services.
What to expect as of January 2020
In summary, 2020 will still very much be a year of service, I’m still going to offer the same amazing customer service, delivering enormous value through my products and services and doing my very best to continue to help and support your businesses in the best ways I know how.
I’ll be restructuring my pricing and packages a little to ensure that I’m honouring my boundaries, however most of the modifications will be behind the scenes and all be it that it sounds a little confronting, I am enormously excited for the factor that implementing these new strategies will mean I’m utilising my time and resources better and I essentially will be able to engage and support more business owners and causes whilst simultaneously supporting and honouring myself.
I can not wait to share the progress of 2020 with you. From works in progress, completed projects, to resources and tools, tips and insights, causes and community events we’re getting behind and so much more.
If I can be of any assistance moving forward to help you establish and grow your online presence, provide website help and support please don’t hesitate to contact me.
To have a chat about your requirements and start moving forward with your goals in 2020.
I would LOVE to arrange a FREE 30 Minute discovery call with you to discuss your options and help you get your goals underway!
Send a message via the form below or feel free to give me a call on 0423285233.
Natalie Crowe Designs
Web Design & Business Mentoring
Business Tip: Make time to Work ON your business as well as in it!
Something I’ve learnt in more than a decade of business as a Web Designer & Business Mentor, it’s important to work ON your business as well as IN it.
For me, Working ON and IN my business has had different meanings at different times. However in a nutshell, if you’re only doing one not the other you run the chance of creating imbalance or feast and famine in your business.
So what on earth am I talking about ?
WORKING ON YOUR BUSINESS:
Working ON your business could include things to improve your business and gain more exposure:
- Writing a blog post
- Sharing an update on your social pages
- Planning out content for your website
- Creating ideas of how to market your business
- Making changes to your website
- Doing product or service research
WORKING IN YOUR BUSINESS:
Whereas, working IN your business usually includes doing the tasks to make revenue:
- Creating your product or service
- Engaging with your customers about their orders
- Following up on accounts/ collecting payment
- Tasks that are needed to keep your business ticking
Because every business is different. Finding that perfect balance between: Doing enough Marketing VS. Selling / Making / Delivery enough products or services, can be challenging.
Here’s a couple of things you can do:
- Schedule time in your diary at least once a month, ideally if you can, once a week , to work ON your business. Look at ways to grow your following, market your business and look at how you can improve the business – what information do your prospects need to know right now?
- Whilst you’re working IN your business keep a running list of things you could do – sometimes it can be hard to come up with ideas in the moment so keeping a list of ideas can be super helpful.
- Keep track of your progress. After you’ve spent time working ON your business take 5 minutes to summarise and track your progress in a journal – today’s session I did XYZ and I had these additional ideas. So next time you go to sit down and work on your business you’ll have a starting point rather than having to reinvent the wheel again.
Business Mentoring Hunter Valley | Australia
One of the many things I love about my business is that it allows me to help you with things just like this! Working ON your business can be a little daunting and it’s great to have someone who has a technical background however is down to earth and can help you overcome obstacles.
If you’d like to have a chat about your business and see how we can work together on your business to help market and grow your business, please visit our Contact Us page or send me a message via our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/nataliecrowedesigns
Before our session via SKYPE
As your website designer and business mentoring here in Australia, I’ve found the most efficient way to offer my knowledge and experience is to connect with my clients via an online video and call program. After testing a few different services, we found that Skype was going to be a long term cost effective solution. Skype is FREE to setup an account and use, and would mean we’d be able to continue supporting our clients post completion of their website with technical support and website help. It also meant that we were no longer limited to local business services and we’re not working with clients world wide and have taken on twice as many clients as of 2015.
I’ve completed a dedicated page for SKYPE MENTORING which you can find out more about the type of things we’d cover during a session and more details about pricing. However, as general rule of thumb Skype Consultations / Skype Mentoring is $80/hr or if you’re looking to meet more frequently we can tailor packages to suit your requirements. However let’s dive right in and overview what we’ll be covering in this post.
This post specifically covers the basic installation and setup of Skype on your computer. Whilst the installation process is virtually the same for any device, we recommend installing on your computer / laptop as it makes it easier to connect and creates consistency with training materials etc. Windows PC is my personal preference however I do have Apple Devices which I can make reference for you should you rather apple.
DOWNLOADING SKYPE SOFTWARE:
We’ll need to install the software on the computer so we can connect.
To download the software and get started
- Go to https://www.skype.com/en/get-skype/
- Click the “blue” download button – usually says something like “Get Skype for Windows”
- Follow the prompts to download the installation file to your computer
Normally it will ask you to save the file like this:
- Once the file is downloaded, you’ll need to run the installation. Generally you’ll get a notification the file has finished downloading or you can just go to your Downloads Folder and fine the new file. This is usually done by double clicking the file on your computer and follow the prompts to get the program installed.
INSTALLATION / SETTING UP A SKYPE ACCOUNT:
We’ll need to create a skype account. You can do this using a Microsoft Account or using any email. If you’ve already got a Skype account, you can skip this section and go straight to logging in.
After you’ve installed the software it’ll give you the option to signup for an account. However I’ve found it’s just easier to go and setup the account via the website.
To setup an account:
- Got to https://go.skype.com/signup
- I prefer using email address rather than your phone number for logging in.
So if you click “Use your email instead” and follow the prompts.
- You’ll answer some questions and configure setup a username and a password.
Which you’ll use to login to the Skype Software
LOGGING TO SKYPE & Connecting with Natalie Crowe Designs:
Once you’ve installed the software it’s a matter of double clicking the icon on your desktop to open the program. It’ll then ask you for login details.
Type in your login information and it’ll connect.
The last step here is you’ll either search for NatalieCroweDesigns or let me know what email address you used and I’ll look you up and connect with you.
* Prices are in Australian Dollars and subject to change.
Websites! Websites! Websites!
Being a web designer in Australia for over a decade, I love that I can combine my passion for helping business owners, together with my years of experience, skills and knowledge, to help demystify the challenges of marketing and growing your business presence online. There are so many benefits of having a website. But here are my top 5 ways a website can help your business
A website is a home for your business on the internet. Your website is used to provide information to potential customers about what you do and what you have to offer them.
As a foundation you’re going to want to look at:
- your primary goal for your website is?
- what are you trying to achieve and
- the type of information you need to make available for prospects to help them purchase from you?
Benefits of having a website
– 5 ways a website can help your business:
Whether you have a bricks and mortar business or you’re selling a service or products online, you may want to :
- Have more clients to walk through your door?
- Educate your customers – offering information to learn about what you offer and the benefits of your products or services?
- Encourage prospects to book a service or order products or services online.
- Start a conversation with them, whether they enquire through an email or to pick up the phone and give you a call.
- Keep in touch with them more frequently.
All of these things are taken into consideration as to your primary goals for your website.
Your websites can help get more foot traffic for Bricks and Mortar Business:
For bricks and mortar businesses, making sure your address and map locations are in a predominant spot on every page of your website will be important.
You can include images of relevant maps or add in an interactive map. From sites like https://www.google.com/maps or https://www.bing.com/maps and you can also list your business on local listing websites – many of these are free to do so.
Using your website as an education tool for your business:
Your website can be such a great education tool. Specifically when educating your prospects on the type of products and services you offer and the benefits of those products you may look to setup things like:
- FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions page,
- Photo Gallery or slideshow page; before and after photos, video content – as simple a quick video of before and after completion.
- Testimonials or reviews – in some cases you can embed various review from other sites within your testimonials page, for example Google Reviews, Tripadvisor etc, or simply including a screenshot as a image could very well achieve this. Your aim is to demonstrate credibility and share experience of others working with you .
Whilst these might seem like simple additions these will all help give your prospects an overview of your offerings.
Online Shop websites and custom ordering online a breeze.
In terms of allowing prospects to order or book online there are a variety of options available to you.
- Online Shops or eCommerce websites – You could integrate an online shop ( ecommerce) section into your website for multiple products or services or simply offer a basic PayPal button to allow one time payments for a service.
- Simple Online Order Forms – optionally accepting payment online – Alternatively could offer a simple online enquiry form to allow them to submit their order and offer the ability to pay on collection , pay by PayPal invoice or one of the other more readily available payment options.
Websites are GREAT for starting conversations with your prospects.
With your website you can easily integrate options for your prospects to start a conversation with you. Something as simple as a contact form or even listing your phone number with a “Click To Call” link so that prospects using their mobile phones can call you by click your number – For example 0423 285 233 – If you click this link via your phone it will show Natalie Crowe Designs phone number up on the call screen of your phone to which you can then get in contact with me directly.
Communication – Websites can help you keep in touch more frequently:
As a part of your website,you could look at a number of different ways to keep in touch more frequently, you can allow users to sign up for a mailing list to send out regular emails using tools like Mailchimp or Aweber and connect with your social media pages such as Facebook, Instagram and Google Business.
In summary, your website can provide a multitude of ways to help your business get found, educate your clients or prospects and keep in touch.
Here at Natalie Crowe Designs ( Website Design Hunter Valley, Australia) we offer a one stop shop for business owners – looking to get a website or interested in improving their existing website. We offer affordable website help & business mentoring online via Skype.
We’re your friends in the business who genuinely want to see you succeed!
We have another 365 days!
Happy New Years All! Another 365 days to make our dreams and goals
come true. Time to get clear on what you want to achieve and how you’d
like 2019 to look for you.
Write it down…. setting that intent or a general direction – even just for right now… will aid in finding your next steps and guide you to your next right step for you.
So many of my mentor clients get stuck on “not getting it right” or “not seeing how they could possible get to their big goals from where they are today…” the main thing is to get started. What do you want? How can you move closer to that.. even if it’s baby steps, your next right move will appear just in the nick of time.
You’re not locked in!! You can choose and choose again!! So by all means, through-out the year, change direction, grow and evolve, YOU ALWAYS HAVE CHOICE but at least make a start to moving yourself from where you are to where you want to be today…
I too, am on this journey with you, I’ve got some massive goals I’d like to reach and I’ve set milestones to hit to move me towards that this year. Things I’ll be focusing on include:
- producing more websites,
- working with more of you through business mentoring to support and grow your business
- and being more present in our online and offline communities.
As always, I LOVE to hear what you guys are up to and I can’t wait to hear about your plans and progress through-out the year. So feel free to jump onto our Natalie Crowe Designs Facebook Page or visit our Contact Us page for more ways to get in touch.
2019 is going to be another amazing opportunity to move you in the direction you want to be. I plan on making 2019 my best year yet!
If you’re in need of any assistance with your websites or perhaps you’re wanting some additional business mentoring or support feel free to contact us Natalie Crowe Designs via our facebook page or website to book in a Skype Session in regards to your goals and plans for your business.
Have a great week everyone!!!
I started my web design business to support my family
Natalie Crowe Designs is a Hunter Valley based website design business which was founded back in 2008. The business was originally created because of my passion for web design and my desire to work, however, I did not have my license at the time and the pending arrival of my daughter limited my ability to work outside the home.
Holding my Diploma in website development, and certificates in business management. I felt that this combination and working for myself would be perfect for our growing family needs. We officially opened our doors 1 month before my daughter was brought into the world and it’s been onward and upwards from there.
My passion was problem solving and Helping Others
I loved the diversity, the challenges, the ability to provide financial security for my family but also the flexibility
working for myself as a stay at home mum. I had a natural knack for the process of problem solving and helping others to find solutions that supported their businesses, and time and patience to sift through the constantly increasing “sea of information” available and offering the skills and knowledge needed in a personalised and down-to-earth service, which I hear so often, is so hard to find when working with larger companies.
7 Years in business – 2015
Seven years on, I am phasing through the next stage of my business. I am working in a career that still “lights me up” as it did in the beginning. One that gives me such drive and motivation. One that can see me “working” until the early hours of the morning, and still get up the next day, ready for a new day with enthusiasm and purpose. Whether that be a consultations for a new client, raising my family and whatever lessons life throws at me, I love my job and can’t imagine doing anything else.
NEWS & UPDATES:
- We’ve just celebrated our 11 year in business!! (2019)
- Check out our About Us Page
- Explore our recent blog post : 10 Year Review as we welcome in 2020
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